Originally I was going to put a different title up there. This is my home state track. While I've never been to Road America, I have been to the many short tracks and dirt tracks that make up a strong Wisconsin race scene. It surprises me that more Wisconsin drivers haven't made it up the ladder. Alan Kulwicki and Matt Kenseth are the only two Wisconsin Sprint Cup Champions.
Johnny Sauter, who comes from a family of Wisconsin racers, has the chance to win a Camping World Championship. Paul Menard is finally starting to show he's not just here because of Menards' money. Travis Kvapil is a former Truck Champion and if it wasn't for a bad start to this year he would be a front runner for a second one. Erik Darnell, Travis Kittleson, Todd Kluever, Scott Wimmer, and Nathan Haseleu were all Wisconsin born drivers who haven't been able to catch on in the Cup Series. Dick Trickle and Dave Marcus were two more in the long line of Wisconsin Born drivers.
All this talk about Wisconsin has got me excited for one of the premier tracks in not only Wisco but in the entire country. Road America is a road course with an expansive history. SCCA, SPEED WORLD, and the American Le Mans series make their homes here once a year.
The 14 turn track at Elkhart Lake last year held it's first NASCAR event since 1954 and it was an amazing race. While Edwards won the race, it was the chance to see little know guys like Owen Kelly, J.R. Fitzpatrick and Patrick Long run very well. Ron Fellows almost took home the event last year and he's back for a second chance.
Carl Edwards, the only Cup driver entered this week, was entered in the race but has pulled out. Perhaps he was stretched too thin. Even Brad Keselowski is skipping this event.
Entry List and notes after the jump!
|1||01||Mike Wallace||Cowboys and Aliens||11 Chevy||JD Motorsports|
|2||2||Elliott Sadler||OneMain Financial||11 Chevy||Kevin Harvick Inc.|
|3||6||Ricky Stenhouse Jr||11 Ford||Roush Fenway|
|4||7||Ron Fellows||AER||11 Chevy||JR Motorsports|
|5||09||Kenny Wallace||11 Toyota||RAB Racing|
|6||11||Brian Scott||Shore Lodge||11 Toyota||Joe Gibbs|
|7||13||Jennifer Jo Cobb||DriverBoutique.com||11 Ford||Jennifer Jo Cobb|
|8||14||Eric McClure||Hefty BlackOut/Reynolds||11 Chevy||TriStar Motorsports|
|9||15||Timmy Hill||New Orleans Voodoo||11 Ford||Rick Ware Racing|
|10||16||Trevor Bayne||11 Ford||Roush Fenway|
|11||18||Michael McDowell(i)||Pizza Ranch||11 Toyota||Joe Gibbs|
|12||19||Mike Bliss||11 Chevy||TriStar Motorsports|
|13||22||Jacques Villeneuve||Discount Tire||11 Dodge||Penske Racing|
|14||23||Alex Kennedy||St. Baldrick's||11 Dodge||R3 Motorsports|
|15||28||Derrike Cope||MAXelence.com||11 Dodge||Jay Robinson Racing|
|16||30||Ricky Carmichael(i)||Monster Energy||11 Chevy||Turner Motorsports|
|17||31||Justin Allgaier||11 Chevy||Turner Motorsports|
|18||32||Reed Sorenson||Dollar General||11 Chevy||Turner Motorsports|
|19||33||Max Papis(i)||Rheem/Menards||11 Chevy||Kevin Harvick Inc.|
|20||38||Jason Leffler||Great Clips||11 Chevy||Turner Motorsports|
|21||39||Josh Wise||Cajun Industries||11 Ford||Go Green Racing|
|22||40||Charles Lewandoski||11 Chevy||Key Motorsports|
|23||41||Doug Harrington||New Orleans Voodoo||11 Ford||Rick Ware Racing|
|24||42||Tim Andrews (s)||11 Chevy||Key Motorsports|
|25||44||Jeff Green (s)||11 Chevy||TriStar Motorsports|
|26||46||Chase Miller (s)||11 Chevy||Key Motorsports|
|27||51||Jeremy Clements||racedaysponsor.com||10 Chevy||Jeremy Clements|
|28||52||Tim Schendel||11 Chevy||Jimmy Means|
|29||53||Andrew Ranger||WM Recycling||11 Dodge||Robert Torriere|
|30||55||Brett Rowe (s)||Imperial Bedding||11 Chevy||Faith Motorsports|
|31||60||Carl Edwards(i)||Fastenal||11 Ford||Roush Fenway|
|32||62||Michael Annett||Pilot Flying J||11 Toyota||Rusty Wallace Racing|
|33||64||Jason Bowles||Fuel Doctor||11 Toyota||Rusty Wallace Racing|
|34||66||Steve Wallace||5 Hour Energy||11 Toyota||Rusty Wallace Racing|
|35||67||J R Fitzpatrick||11 Ford||Go Canada Racing|
|36||70||Dennis Setzer||11 Chevy||ML Motorsports|
|37||75||Carl Long (s)||Lilly Trucking of VA||11 Ford||Rick Ware Racing|
|38||81||Blake Koch||DAYSTAR.com||11 Dodge||MacDonald|
|39||87||Kevin Conway||AM/FM Energy-Wood & Pellet Stoves||11 Toyota||NEMCO|
|40||88||Aric Almirola||TaxSlayer.com||11 Chevy||JR Motorsports|
|41||89||Morgan Shepherd||11 Chevy||Faith Motorsports|
|Not Locked In|
|(i) Not Runnning for Championship|
|(s) Known Start and Park|
Only 41 cars entered this week so everyone will make the race.
- #7- Ron Fellows is back this year after finishing second last year. Fellows is the epitome of a Road Course Ringer.
- #18- Michael McDowell returns to Joe Gibbs Racing this week. I'm really looking forward to a good run from the former Michael Waltrip Racing developmental driver.
- #20- Is not entered again this week. Another surprise since I would think that Gibbs could have found a ringer who could bring in a sponsor.
- #22- Jacques Villeneuve will make his debut for Penske Racing this week. Villeneuve has come ever so close to winning at Road Course in his short NASCAR career. He's going to be a front runner this weekend.
- #30- Ricky Carmichael is making his 2011 Nationwide Debut at a strange place. Carmichael isn't really a road course driver, but he did spend time turning right as the GOAT in super-bikes.
- #33- Max Papis almost won in Montreal last year and he's back with Kevin Harvick Inc this week to try to snap his win-less streak in NASCAR.
- #39- Josh Wise moves over to Go Green Racing with Ron Fellows in the JR Motorsports team.
- #41- Doug Harrington will drive the fully funded Rick Ware Racing Ford this week. Harrington is a SCCA and Grand Am racer who is making his NASCAR debut this week.
- #53- Canadian, and 4ever3's countryman, Andrew Ranger returns again this year to run the road races. Ranger is bringing his Canadian Tire sponsorship with him this weekend.
- #64- Jason Bowles will pilot the third Rusty Wallace Racing Toyota. Bowles is an up and comer in this series and really should be a full timer this year.
- #67- Go Canada Racing returns this week with J.R. Fitzpatrick as driver. This will be GCR's best chance to score there first top 5 in Nationwide.
- #87- Kevin Conway, not Paulie Harraka or Patrick Long, is entered this week in Joe Nemechek's team. Conway is just bringing his sponsorship to a team that needs it. If I sound a bit jaded that some Road Ringers are not in the race, I am. Conway has yet to prove to anyone that he belongs at this level. Maybe he will surprise me this weekend, but I have my doubts.
Join us here at NASCAR Ranting and Raving Saturday before the race for the open race thread and while you're here, tune your TV to ESPN at 5 pm Eastern for the Bucyrus 200 from Elkhart Lake, WI. It's Road America! Enjoy!